Wednesday, 12 August 2015

A Boy called MOUSE by Penny Dolan (reviewed by Karen Bush)


I haven't had so much fun reading a book for ages - this really is the most joyous romp through Victorian England the whole way through. Not joyous for many of the characters, I'd hasten to add - some pretty grim things happen during the course of Mouse's adventures - but in the sense that it is a joy to read something which is so stuffed with entertainment and keeps you hanging on, reading just another page ... and another ... and another, long after you should have turned the lights out and gone to sleep. There is villainy and treachery, bravery and derring-do, scurrilous scoundrels, heroics, heroes and heroines - and it really won't spoil things at all for you if I also say that there is - importantly - a happy outcome at the end. Well, for most.
Yes, all Victorian life is on display, and if you've read other reviews telling you it is Dickensian, please don't let that put you off, if, like me, you have failed to get past page one of any of Charles' finest. I have never been able to get to grips with Mr D, but I adored this: it is a real page turner, and I defy you to start reading it and not end up, like me, reading it long into the depths of the night, such is its power as a page turner!

PS Children will probably enjoy it just as much as us <ahem> grown ups ...